Ithaca, N.Y. – The Ithaca Police Department Explorer program, which is designed to educate youths about law enforcement, is being restored.

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The program, which is open to those between the ages of 14 and 20, allows “Police Explorers” to gain experience and knowledge about the different aspects of law enforcement. In a news release, Chief John Barber said the program was previously cut because of low staffing levels.

Police Explorers will be able to experience the day-to-day operations of the Ithaca Police Department, including the “expectations, duties, and functions” of the department, in addition to the ins-and-outs of “building searches, CPR/ first aid, crime scene security, and courtroom testimony,” according to a press release.

Those enrolled in the program will be involved in community events — festivals, parades, and community outreach initiatives. A press release said that the Explorers will “undoubtedly experience character growth development, wherein they will learn the leadership skills and self-discipline initiatives which are invaluable to becoming successful community leaders.”

On Feb. 12, the police department will hold an open house for those interested in the program between the hours of 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Please join me in welcoming back this excellent youth program which will strengthen relationships between the police and our youth,” Chief Barber said. “It’s part of our overall initiative to be more transparent and informative regarding what we do and why we do it, which is so important in today’s society,” he added.

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A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: